Climate Change Conference

When will the Paris Agreement enter into force, now that the US and China have ratified it

Le due nazioni hanno consegnato alle Nazioni Unite i documenti per la ratifica dell’Accordo di Parigi. Che, tuttavia, non può ancora entrare in vigore.

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have submitted their plan to ratify the Paris Agreement. The deal was reached in Paris in December as a result of the 21st UN climate change conference (COP21).

The ratification represents a pivotal achievement, considered that the United States and China are the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Plus, the fact that they handed their plans to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a solid step for the procedure for the deal’s entry into force.

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The Presidents of China and the United States ratifying the Paris Agreement ©HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

When will the Paris agreement enter into force?

For the Paris Agreement to come into force, at least 55 countries must join, provided that they represent at least 55 per cent of global emissions. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 26 countries have ratified so far including the US and China, accounting for a total of 39 per cent of global emissions. Many other nations (180), though, have only signed the agreement, without ratifying it.

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Cop21, Paris, December 2015 ©NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Doubling the efforts in view of COP22

195 countries took part in COP21 and only a few of them haven’t signed or ratified the agreement yet. With its entry into force, the deal would commit the countries to try to keep temperatures below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

However, the pledges made by countries so far seem to be not enough to meet the goal. In fact, according to data provided by the French government, 2.7°C will be reached if countries won’t commit further. COP22 will be held in Marrakech, Morocco, in early November, and each country must understand the need of implementing more steps compared to those taken so far.

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